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-   -   Are hybrid SUVs a good or bad thing? (

SVOboy 12-11-2007 05:32 PM

Are hybrid SUVs a good or bad thing?
ABG just posted this story on new GMC/Chevy hybrid SUVs and it got me to thinking.


In September, GM announced their official MPG numbers for the new 2008 Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon hybrids. The EPA has now posted the official government verdict, and the numbers match what GM announced. The
two large hybrids share official EPA estimates: The 2WD versions get 21 city, 22 highway (21 combined) while the 4WD versions get 20 mpg in all those categories. You can find EPA's pages for the Tahoe hybrids here and the Yukon hybrids here. For comparison, the non-hybrid 2008 GMC Yukon 1500 2WD gets between 11 and 14 mpg in the city and 15 and 20 mpg on the highway (depending on engine type, fuel and how many speeds the transmission has).
Looking at the issue I see that there are two sides and a middle ground of sorts. The two sides as I see it:

Position #1: Hybrid SUVs are great, they use the most gas and if every vehicle were hybrid then there would be an instant, passive savings of %20 of fuel used. Everytime the market balance shifts towards hybrids, it is a good thing.

Position #2: Hybrid SUVs are a great example of greenwashing. Even if it's a hybrid, it still embodies everything that waste is about. It shouldn't seem "ok" to drive an SUV because it's a hybrid, people should all be driving cars. Hybrid SUVs just encourage SUV ownership, which is a negative trend.

What do you think? I personally fall in the undecided pile, as I haven't seen a study done on the purchasing patterns of hybrid SUV owners v. regular SUV owners, and I think anyone trying to say one way or another is blowing hot air (ペラペラフアフア)...that said I think the balance prolly tips towards #1, though I'll still vote undecided.

Anyone have any anecdotal observations?

igo 12-11-2007 06:37 PM

I voted for #2. I feel the same way about hybrid SUVs as I do about regular SUVs. They don't get good gas millage and most people could use other types of vehicles. Most people can get buy without 4 wheel drive. Minivans and wagons are a much better option for holding stuff or people.

Lets compare two fairly close engine sized vehicles. I assume the minivan wins out because of aerodynamics, weight, and less knobby tires.

2007 2wd Dodge Caravan 6cyl 3.8L (16city/23hwy)
2007 2wd Dodge Durango 6cyl 3.7L (14city/19highway)

The Durango can tow a lot more, but the caravan can hold more (volume).

Luggage Capacity: 23.5 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 129 cu. ft.

Luggage Capacity: 20.1 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 102 cu. ft.

newtonsfirstlaw 12-11-2007 07:01 PM

meh. SUVs have so many things wrong with them.

-Immense use of resources in construction (that weight is primarily metal, which there are limited amounts of).

-Barn door-like frontal area, that an improved Cd can only go part way to fix.

-Weight that will cause extra losses during braking, even hybrid technology will not recover all of it. And also rolling resistance scales with weight.

-Increased danger in accidents to other, more responsible road users, due to immense mass. Go play GTA and run your hummer into a few bikes and small cars and see what happens, the physics models (collisions) are pretty realistic in terms of momentum conservation.

-they contribute irresponsible vehicles to the used car market. Most cars on the road will wind up being used far longer than the original owner uses them. Since it is people who aren't price sensitive buying new vehicles, their buying preferences dictate what everyone else will be driving in years to come, and this cost isn't shouldered by the original buyer.

Overall, this is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, and a hybrid drive train is just greenwashing.

Lazarus 12-11-2007 07:03 PM

I think that it kind of like car racing. Even though it might not be the most FE car around the technological benefits will filter to other cars and the cost will come down for all Hybrids that are out there. Unfortunately there will alway be people that want to drive something that they don't need. In this society there will always be people willing to pay for what they want and there will always be someone to build it.

I wouldn't say that I would vote for #1 because of the wording. But I think the more advancement we have the better for everyone.

SVOboy 12-11-2007 07:15 PM

Fair enough, Z.

As for the points on greenwashing, I completely agree. However, I am operating on the caveat that I don't particularly believe that people are willing to change there behavior and I posed this question more out of my own wondering over (regardless of the silliness of hybrid suvs) they would reduce fuel consumption.

I mean, regardless of the thought that goes into it (sorry Kant), I wonder if moving the suv market towards hybrid-land would reduce consumption total or would increase it because people move more towards "green" suvs.

Silveredwings 12-11-2007 09:41 PM

I think most people who buy suvs do so because they are trendy. So why buy a hybrid suv... guilt? Penny pinchers don't need hybrids since they cost more and don't offer much savings. Purists who actually care about the environment will likely buy something more sensible.

As for the iconoclasts among us, I doubt they would want to be seen in a hybrid suv.

AndrewJ 12-11-2007 09:43 PM

I'm a position #2 kinda guy myself.

I think that SUV's are generally an irresponsible, negative trend. As I see it "Green" SUV's will only serve to muddy the waters of more responsible transportation choices.

Lets consider that there are a segment of the public right now that are SUV owners or that aspire to be SUV owners in the future. A certain number of these people in the "SUV pool" will inevitably be concerned with the environmental and/or social impact of their SUV purchase. They are suffering from what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, trying to reconcile two diametrically opposed ideas inside their mind.
Idea 1 - I want an SUV
Idea 2 - I want to help the environment
Giving people the choice of buying a "green" SUV provides an immediate resolution to that market segments cognitive dissonance and assuring us of roadways that will continued to be dominated by light trucks and SUVs.

I look at that market segment "Green" SUV buyers as one would look at so-called "swing-voters" in an election.

To flog again an already-dead-and-much-beaten-horse one could compare this "Green SUV buyer" segment to people who voted for Ross Perot in the 1992 presidential election.
The Green SUV buyer is faced with a choice between two options he doesn't much like, Clinton (SUVs for our purposes) or Bush (sorry folks, here Bush will have to represent small efficient cars)
Since the Green SUV buyers will be casting their votes for Perot (the Hybrid SUV of this analogy) They will effectively be "stealing" votes away from the other two canditates.
As you may recall, Perot is alleged to have "stolen" enough votes away from Bush that Bill Clinton won the election for President.

This will at best effectively stall any real change, and at worst continue to enforce the "myth" of the wonderful SUV amongst the general public.

So there you have it, all two of my pennies.

Lazarus 12-11-2007 10:14 PM


Originally Posted by SVOboy (Post 2005)
I wonder if moving the suv market towards hybrid-land would reduce consumption total or would increase it because people move more towards "green" suvs.

This is indeed an interesting question. I think that people that would buy an SUV the mileage is the last thing they are looking at. They might pick one SUV over another because it get's better mileage but an SUV it would still be. Thus in agreement with postion 1. BUT

That being said I looked at the EPA rating for the 2008 and out of 60 family sedans 48 had combined EPA of 25 or less.:( Would these people buy what they might consider an upgrade (market hype) that gets 2-3 MPG more? I really don't know if they would so I'll lean towards postion 1.

Good question SVOboy.

DifferentPointofView 12-11-2007 11:47 PM

Being an SUV owner, driver, and do actually care for the environment unlike most people in the US, I will have to say that hybrid SUV's are more of a good thing than a bad thing.

Also, I have been in almost every automotive group you can think of, from the performance nuts at SCC, the having fun Jeeper's at Jeep Addicts, the neon covered cars people, the 4X4 people, the track/rally car people, the muscle car groups, and the guru's here trying to squeeze every bit of MPG from their cars. And I have to say that, everyone has they're own one group thoughts that everyone leans toward and makes fun of the other groups. The performance guys think that the guys who make they're car look like a hotwheels cars are retards and all that heavy show stuff is just slowing them down, The muscle car guys make fun of the performance/track racing Japanese cars cause they're car sounds like a dirt bike and looks like they're girlfriend should drive it. "it'd run better if you'd just drop a V8 in there!". The Jeep guys have a quote and act like there's no such thing as gas mileage, they think that it's all about having fun more than having a good stereo or big rims. And then there is the mpg people, who think everyone else is insane. That said, here's my oppinion on SUV's and why people buy them.

Most people that buy SUV's are either rich folks who don't give a S*** and want them 24" DUBs, The Moms who are paranoid about safety and won't get near a 2 door car, guys who want to make it into the ultimate off-road/ready for any natural disaster truck, and guys like me, who was looking for a first car and that's what came up, the price was spectacular, it ran good and any of the problems were an easy fix.

I know one thing.. my mom will never buy a car that only has 2 seats, 2 doors, or looks like I could accidentally run it over. That means she won't buy a convertible, festiva, metro, swift, miata, or anything that could drive under a semi while on the highway. She says they're too fragile, unsafe, and when you get in a head on collision they will keep going and you'll go the opposite way they went. Oh, and believe me I wanted to get a very small car, I was actually almost gonna buy a festiva but my mom wanted me to atleast have a car that wasn't smaller than even a compact car.

We found my Jeep, it was $2000, looked the way it does now, and ran well. sounds like a good one to me. I know that the times I almost got into a wreck cause people ran stop signs, they were in smaller cars, headed for the exact place you don't wanna hit me, the engine bay. I can guarantee that they would have flown somewhere and I would have kept going. The AMC 4.0L was made thicker and heavier than most I6's cause it was designed for vehicles that could take the weight of a V8, so the I6 has been deemed one of hardest motors to kill, and one of the best off-road motors ever built. It was rated at 20mpg highway. I achieve 21-23 combined mpg.

Not bad for a 4.0L heavy as crap I6 pushing around an SUV, Now safety isn't the only reason for buying, but that's what a lot of people buy it for. They want to be the ones to survive in a wreck, survive when it's flooding, Feel comfortable on those really long trips (oh the comfort!), and look intimidating.

Other people want it for an adventure, to go where no one has gone before, help people who are stranded in a blizzard surrounded by Hyundai's, Saturns, and Yugo's, and look intimidating. I can relate to this, it's a rush to try and get stuck out of that really bad one, it's funny when all of the cars are trying to get through the traffic jam, and you just drive through the ditch and get home in 5 minutes. Finding new places and exploring, it's like being an adventurer, searching the environment for things unexplored. Its really fun.

But for most people buying an SUV they're checklist goes like this,

Space for the family, comfort,
Safety, high off the ground for snow
4wd for the winter
other things that do with stuff that a van doesn't quite have
Dad will not look like a wimp

The thing that at the end that people look at is fuel consumption, and if there's a hybrid or non-hybrid for about the same price, they're gonna probably go for the hybrid, cause they're on a budget for more than just the family car. If they can save at the pump as much as possible then they will go for the hybrid. and what can a hybrid SUV hurt? not at all more than a regular gasoline SUV.

You can't always go with a car, nor a van I definitely know that they are worse than cars for the environment, but Compareing SUV's with SUV's, a hybrid isn't hurting anyone, It's just like removing the roof racks, it might not do much at all, but you know it's helping. Sometimes you have to look on the bright side and see that we're never gonna get rid of the SUV, so might as well accept the hybrid ones.

MetroMPG 12-12-2007 12:58 AM

This is a tough one.

Generally, I like 2 mode hybrids (ones that can run exclusively in EV mode, as these new GM ones can) not because I believe they're going to make any meaningful difference in consumption in the big picture. I like them because regardless of why the manufacturers make them, and regardless of why some people buy them, they can and sometimes do unexpectedly open people's eyes to genuine alternatives.

I see 2-mode hybrids as vehicles that can potentially put people on a slippery, green slope. Unintended education.

And that's because I can personally trace a line from my first drive in a gen1 Prius to having built the ForkenSwift to having ridden my bicycle further this year for transportation purposes (vs. recreation) than in any other.

Predisposed? Probably.

I read a quote recently from the owner of a US NEV dealership who said many of the customers buying his EV's drove hybrids. Predisposed? Maybe.

But I like the idea that it's a slippery slope, and I can't shake the feeling whenever I see a 2-mode hybrid that the manufacturers have unintentionally cracked open Pandora's box, and it's causing more people to start asking important questions about the transportainment industry in general. (BTW, I like that word - transportainment - stole it from Phil Knox, if I recall.)

OK, perhaps a sliver of hybrid drivers, which make up a sliver of all drivers may experience this. But it's nice to be idealistic once in a while.

EDIT: so I guess my answer is really "none of the above", but it's probably closest to "Somewhere in between, possibly a wash."

trebuchet03 12-12-2007 02:37 AM

First, I haven't read the entire thread yet...

Second, I'm the one with position #1 - but allow me to explain (I think I have good reason) as it took awhile for me to get used to this concept....

Right now, a lot of people thing caring for the environment is a good idea -- especially when worded that way. At the same time, right now - only a few are actually willing to do something about it. My case for example - I hang dry all my clothing. Clothing lasts longer and I don't use gobs of energy to heat the house I'm cooling while destroying my clothing in a tumble oven. My mother doesn't like that - but she doesn't live with me.

So apply that to cars. We can not change what the masses want to buy. You can either disagree with that completely, or cash in. Either way, someone will step up weather or not you are willing to. So, the best alternative is not to change the people - we know that's incredibly hard to do. Instead, lets change the product. If they can still have the freaking massive deathtrap of "safety" AND cut back on fuel consumption - GREAT! But weather or not you think it's irresponsible - that doesn't change anything. The only people that have power to change new car trends are the people that buy new cars.

So while they're driving in their hybrid SUVs, they are exposed to the idea. It works its way into the status quo. It becomes acceptable outside of the California eco nut and that weird guy from Florida that hang dries all of his clothing.


So these larger cars seem to be the bread and butter of auto mfr's. At least, it seems that way given the higher prices and that SUVs make up 50% of the US market share. So, let them put it into SUVs. Let them make gobs and GOBs of money off of it. Then let them further develop it, so that it will be in every econobox 20 years down the road. Yes, I realize trickle down eco. only "works" in retrospect - it's not predicable :/

I also uphold the idea that the all or nothing practice will result is neither.

Of course, my car still gets more MPG than your hybrid SUV :D

cfg83 12-12-2007 04:47 AM

Hello -

I went for the wash. It is a greenwashing, like #2, but the technology is being implemented and worked out by people that I think would otherwise buy SUVs. Hopefully, it will migrate down to smaller cars like the Honda Fit (as rumored).


RH77 12-12-2007 01:10 PM

Somewhere in the Middle
Complicatated Situation, oversimplified below...

I think that this market share is going to buy the SUV regardless. The fact that Hybrids are available in this segment helps with FE (albeit slightly number-wise, but larger percentage-wise, with less fuel consumed overall).

They still get crummy mileage. If someone is serious about FE over other concerns (unwarranted, or otherwise), then they'll choose something smaller, more efficient.

Lastly, it educates folks about hybrids, which is a good thing.


DifferentPointofView 12-12-2007 04:37 PM

I have a question, why are they making more and more hybrid SUV's but they aren't making more and more hybrid mini-vans???

AndrewJ 12-12-2007 05:37 PM

Because nobody willingly goes out and buys a minivan.
"Guys! Check out my awesome new Caravan!" :D

newtonsfirstlaw 12-12-2007 06:12 PM

Maybe there's room for a position #5: Hybrid SUVs are a bad thing because there should be MORE SUVs.

Let me explain: the next extended fuel price shock causes SUVs to end up going back to China as scrap because no one can afford to run them. This causes the common perception to change - people start thinking of SUVs as a stupid investment with no resale value. Then the average person becomes envious of those who can travel at or near highway speeds while still being able to feed a family, especially without getting wet in the rain. And everyone starts talking and learning about FE, industry starts sating public demand, etc.


Peakster 12-12-2007 09:01 PM

I voted somewhere in between because no matter what, people are going to buy SUVs. There's just something about buying 2+ tons of steel that's equipped to drive across arctic tundra that seems to make people feel special (I'd drive one if it didn't send me to the poor house. Remember I almost bought a Jeep instead of the Geo).

Driving a vehicle that goes from 15 MPG to one that gets 20 MPG is an immense fuel savings... much more than a car that goes from 35mpg to 40mpg. It would be lovely if a person made an SUV that got 50 MPG, but that ain't gonna happen.

newtonsfirstlaw 12-12-2007 09:23 PM


Originally Posted by Peakster (Post 2098)
Driving a vehicle that goes from 15 MPG to one that gets 20 MPG is an immense fuel savings... much more than a car that goes from 35mpg to 40mpg. It would be lovely if a person made an SUV that got 50 MPG, but that ain't gonna happen.

Two points:
1. A hybrid (even mild hybrid) SUV, driven at low speed pulse and glide, should be able to achieve 50mpg. The catch is, it would have to be driven at 60kph or less. Aeromodded, slightly more, maybe 70kph. :D

2. mpg is a terrible measure of fuel economy, for that very reason. An inverse of that measure is a lot better (e.g. gallons per 100miles) or l/100km doesn't have that problem.

15mpg = 15.68l/100km
20mpg = 11.76l/100km
difference = 3.92 l/100km

35mpg = 6.72l/100km
40mpg = 5.88l/100km
difference = 0.84l/100km

Edit: It does have the problem that 1l/100km difference is not as significant the lower you go. It does have the advantage of improvements being understated rather than overstated. e.g. my bicycle achieves infinity mpg ftw! lol lol kthxbye

I suppose what we need is a logarithmic measure, like decibels. But since you'd have to do log conversions to determine fuel use over a certain distance, it would be useless for that.

Lazarus 12-12-2007 11:51 PM

This shows that the SUV's are in demand despite high gas prices so anything that will bring the mileage up the better. I don't think the consumer will change their buying choices.


The numbers for large SUVs rose nearly 6 percent in the first quarter of 2007, and the April figures were up 25 percent from April 2006, according to automakers' statistics provided by, an automotive research Web site.
The average price of gas at this time was $2.80 ish.

RH77 12-13-2007 12:41 AM

For those that NEED them...
Maybe consumers aren't the one's helping the most here...

For that small percentage that actually require those vehicles, this seems to be a good trend. (I see public service vehicles, requiring 4WD and extra ground clearance, that do quite a bit of stop-and-go driving in the interim -- such a rural Sheriff/Police vehicles (e.g. Tahoe), or other rural/rough-terrain applications, to benefit the most). Will these enter fleet service, or is durability and longevity a concern?

The trend lately has been in the in the Medium-Duty Truck (Ambulance, Delivery, Military) and Transit Bus segment. With a different architecture, these generally help a Diesel or Alternatively Powered vehicle get started with an electric motor or hydraulic pressure, and start the engine at the proper time during the FE-critical standing start scenario. Semi-trucks are next on the list.


DifferentPointofView 12-13-2007 04:28 PM


Another reason people are turning to large SUVs is that General Motors has "abandoned the minivan," Rosten said.

GM spokesman Jeff Holland confirmed that the company has stopped production on all of its minivans except the Chevrolet Uplander and it, too, will end its run with the 2007 model year. The vans, Holland said, are being replaced with the three crossover vehicles because they hold just as many people and get better gas mileage.

Nonetheless, Fulford says there are many reasons why he bought the Expedition.

"I'm 6 feet 4 inches and I weigh 250 pounds, so for me, it's a comfort thing," he said. "It's a comfortable and convenient vehicle. I have a son who is 4 and a daughter who is 16, and we use the SUV to haul kids around, take them to parties. We use it to go to the mountains and we pull a water-skiing boat behind it."

Fulford says he loves the car because of "all the functional aspects" of it, and his wife loves it "because of all the nice amenities," such as heated leather seats.

"It would be nice if they could get this fuel thing together," Fulford said of the Expedition's comparatively miserable gas mileage. "And as a citizen of the United States, I'm concerned about global warming. It's not that I don't consider those things. We try to do as much as we can. We try not to drive that far."

"We know the technology is out there to increase fuel economy about 60 percent without compromising size (of the vehicle)," MacKenzie said. "It could go from just under 25 miles per gallon -- the government's average of all cars and trucks -- to about 40 miles per gallon.
That last quote kinda makes ya think... right? Maybe the oil companies are blackmailing everyone :D

SVOboy 12-13-2007 04:42 PM

I love how it car drivers "drive" their kids around and suv drivers "haul" their kids around. Just like sacks of dirt!

DifferentPointofView 12-15-2007 03:24 AM

With how and what kids eat nowadays they might as well be sacks of dirt! If ya get stuck in the snow have the kids go sit at the drive wheels.

Unforgiven 11-22-2008 06:45 PM

The hybrid vehicle issue is the one I feel to be the best thing going. Compared to hydrogen fuel cells and ethanol or biodiesel, the numbers I find suggest to me that hybrids are the best thing out there. Too bad the manufacturers wont make the vehicles into real mpg winners. Especially sad since GM had the old 5.0L v-8 doing 40+mpg, while Mopar took one of the old 2.2L 4cylinders and broke 90 mpg back in 1982!!
So far the biggest improvement I have seen is recently is the Malibu hybrid, but am still researching that vehicle. I was very disappointed with the Escape hybrid wannabe, and the other recent SUV hybrid attempts. Even Toyota failed to impress me when the current generation of Highlander hybrid came out actually faster than the non hybrid version. Come on America, we do NOT need to race stoplight to stoplight so quit making and using those idiot 0-60 under 8 second vehicles. Leave it for the modders that actually go to the tracks and race, not the street.

Big Dave 11-23-2008 02:32 PM

I'm definitely Position #1. People will buy what they want to buy, so why not give them the option of getting better MPG in a vehicle that suits their needs? You reduce gasoline consumption a lot more that way.

Hate to tell you this, but most people don't want little cars. They want something thay meets their perceived missions and if it gets better MPG, then they are sold.

I think all the development work needs to be SUVs, crossovers, and minivans. Those vehicles operate in the urban/suburban stop-and-go environment and that is where regenerative braking really shines.

Keep in mind that hypermilers are far outnumbered by people who want to text while they are driving. You cannot change people. Change their tools.

SuperTrooper 11-23-2008 03:24 PM

I agree with Dave. After driving a Trooper and an Explorer for the past 10 years my wife has emphatically stated she will NEVER go back to driving a car. When the time comes I expect we'll buy an Escape/Mariner Hybrid. She really likes them and for the driving she does it would be a major improvement in gas mileage. She also likes the upcoming Toyota Venza and when it comes out as a hybrid it will probably be on the short list.

The problem with hybrids is the additional cost. At $4/gal the payoff happens over reasonable amount of time. At <$2/gal hybrids will never payoff for most people. We tend to keep our vehicles for many years so it might make sense for us, but I will look long and hard at hybrids before deciding if they truly make financial sense.

For myself, I'm on a list for a Volt. It will be pricey, but I look forward to being on the leading edge of PHEVs, and as a hedge against fuel prices going up in the future.

jamesqf 11-23-2008 10:26 PM

[QUOTE=Big Dave;74311Hate to tell you this, but most people don't want little cars.[/QUOTE]

Sure, keep chanting that old "Americans want big cars" mantra while gazing into your navel, ignoring the reality of what Americans have actually been buying these past decades. (Make that half a century or so, since the original VW Beetle.) Americans want big cars: that must be why GM, Ford, & Chrysler are weathering the current slowdown so well, while the execs from Honda, Toyota, and all the other small-car makers are flying to Washington to beg for government handouts to stave off bankruptcy.

Unforgiven 12-06-2008 08:26 PM

Bottom line... Greed wants bigger and better. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not practicality that built and gave us Expeditions, Excursions, Suburbans, and Skyjacker (just pulled a name out of the head, no attack meant here) but simply G R E E D. Watch how many of those oversized vehicles are driven by folks that actually only need them once a month if even that. A construction company, that I can buy... the 30ish wife of an office exec that has to make sure she does not break her nails opening the door...(snorts) Come on folks, bigger is not better in MOST cases, and definately not in the automotive industry.

Cd 12-06-2008 09:15 PM

( I just wanted to add that students at U.C. Davis' mechanical engineering class modified a Chevy SUV ( the same chassis that is used for the HUMMER ) and it gets 30 MPG. It is also plug in capable.)

I'll have to search for the link.

" Keep in mind that hypermilers are far outnumbered by people who want to text while they are driving. You cannot change people. Change their tools."

Well said Big Dave.

If SUVs could run several miles in EV mode alone, then that would be their saving grace in my eyes. ( That and powering accesories like A/C while parked in EV mode - I see a lot of folks just sitting on the phone with the engines on .)

captainslug 12-06-2008 10:38 PM

Current offerings are a bad thing, because the improvement is absurdly negligible.
In the same way that the Toyota Prius is kind of a bad thing because it adds a ton of extra complexity while still delivering gas mileages comparable to cheaper and more finely tuned cars of comparable size.

NeilBlanchard 12-07-2008 08:54 AM


I'm 6'-4" and about 240 pounds, and I fit comfortably in the xA. Anybody who thinks they need a SUV for this reason is fooling themselves.

The Atomic Ass 03-28-2009 10:13 AM

I voted Pos. 2, and I'll add on to that position.

SUV's are less safe in general than cars, and as such require a greater deal of driving skill and care, that almost none of the drivers of such vehicles have or exercise. Not that driving a car poorly is any less dangerous on the road of course, but an SUV is going to cause a lot more damage to everyone else than say, a Civic, and it's going to be far easier to cause an accident in it.

I also maintain this position of minivans, I'm bad aren't I? :p

Drive Stick 03-28-2009 10:35 AM

I put myself in the undecided category, because I have ADD and i didn't realize what I was voting on until after I read the post :P

Back to reality, I think SUV's should only be used for government and experimental research. K9 unit, police possibly. Off-road search and rescue, definitely.

Every day joe and jill? No way.

I think 20 mpg up from 15 is still ridiculous. They are adding the Hybrid tag to the SUV package in order to make it attractive and encouraging the wrong trend for this country.

We need to be leaning towards eliminating gas-hogs (all but sports cars, I will never agree that sports car should be electric, or hybrid, or get 40 mpg.. if you want performance you pay to play.) But SUV's are just un-necessary. Rent a U-haul if you really need to fill more than a wagon with people and supplies.

The Atomic Ass 03-28-2009 10:59 AM


Originally Posted by DifferentPointofView (Post 2037)
Not bad for a 4.0L heavy as crap I6 pushing around an SUV, Now safety isn't the only reason for buying, but that's what a lot of people buy it for. They want to be the ones to survive in a wreck, survive when it's flooding, Feel comfortable on those really long trips (oh the comfort!), and look intimidating.

But for most people buying an SUV they're checklist goes like this,

Space for the family, comfort,
Safety, high off the ground for snow
4wd for the winter
other things that do with stuff that a van doesn't quite have
Dad will not look like a wimp

Maybe it's just me, but I do not find SUV's comfortable at all. The seats, (at least in the Chevy Blazer line, which my parents own 2 of), are quite a bit harder than I am accustomed to, and the ride of every SUV I've ridden in frankly makes me carsick. I'll extend that as well to minivans, as they also make me car sick. And my grandfather's driving, despite him driving a sedan. :D

As for surviving a wreck, of course the thought has never gone through the head of the average American to AVOID THE WRECK IN THE FIRST PLACE. People call them, "accidents", I call them "driving mistakes". :rolleyes:

Now I will say, AWD is something I want, and have at times had a need for. Not 4WD, but AWD. And I don't want to drag around extra drivetrain components or a useless to me body style for the privilege. :p <-Electric *****

My 2/3 lowered 2WD S-10 never actually bottomed out on the snow, it just spun it's solitary drive tire, and this was driving through fresh snow that reached my hubcaps. Did I mention that Subaru's appeal to me a little? :D

aerohead 03-28-2009 01:41 PM

For me,I'm stuck with inverse-logic.If the premise of a hybrid is to recover some efficiency in traffic congestion,then the issue is traffic congestion,not hybrids.------------------------------------------------------------------- If a person is on fire,you can extinguish the flames with boiling water and then argue whether you helped them or not.----------------------------------- Why do we not take all the research and development money for hybrids,along with the "premiums" we'll pay for the hybrids,and finance traffic mitigation?--------------------------------------------------------------- As the population continues to grow,and the vehicle population along with it,any benefits accrued to the hybrid will be overshadowed by even greater traffic congestion.-------------------------------------------------------- You can keep tilting a bowling-alley uphill, to save space,but sooner or later your going to throw the ball onto your toes.

jamesqf 03-28-2009 02:43 PM


Originally Posted by The Atomic Ass (Post 94570)
SUV's are less safe than in general than cars...

It also turns out that if you are in an accident with kids in a vehicle, the kids are more likely to die in a SUV than in a minivan: Are S.U.V.’s More Dangerous Than Minivans? - Wheels Blog -

Drive Stick 04-01-2009 04:48 PM


Originally Posted by aerohead (Post 94591)
You can keep tilting a bowling-alley uphill, to save space,but sooner or later your going to throw the ball onto your toes.


Good point about traffic congestion. Unfortunately there is no solution to that other than taking lives. As long as people are free to drive, they will continue to do so regardless of what adverse effects it has even on themselves.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-02-2014 05:59 PM

You all might already know that I'm not so much into hybrid layouts as I am into Diesel engines, but I consider the hybrid SUVs really pointless and just another green-washing. Why would a hybrid Tahoe still be fitted with the boat-anchor V8 if it's supposed to feature a more efficient drivetrain? Why would actually a regular Tahoe need a V8 anyways if it's not really used for heavy duties and either a V6 or even a 4-pot could get the job done decently? I'd rather get a 4-cyl turbodiesel in the 2.8L to 4.0L range over a spark-ignited V8 at any time. But we might remember the EPA regulations are easier to match with a spark-ignited hybrid than with a Diesel...

Cobb 03-02-2014 07:50 PM

I was in that situation. I went to a gen 2 scion xb. :eek: Talk about leg and head room. That thing hauled ass too. I got between 19-27 mpg. :mad:


Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 77085)

I'm 6'-4" and about 240 pounds, and I fit comfortably in the xA. Anybody who thinks they need a SUV for this reason is fooling themselves.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-12-2017 10:45 PM

Considering that the conception of traditional body-on-frame SUVs didn't evolve so much in the last 80 years, retaining overweight ladder-frames, solid rear axles and longitudinally-engined RWD bias, hybrids could sound as just a brainwash. But anyway, as long as the average Joe wouldn't be willing to get rid of those landyachts, that still seems like the most viable approach to set a balance between different goals such as reducing dependence on foreign oil, tax rebates and other benefits that could apply, at the same pace that hybrid technology awareness gets more developed to make it look less "geeky", "nerdy" or anything that would render it unappealing to a more conservative customer base.

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